A mining company want to create a lead and zinc mine on Alston Moor.
Representatives from Minco plc have already met with residents of the nearby village of Nenthead.
The meeting explained that the company have made an initial borehole of 350 metres and three more bore holes are planned, with up to eight boreholes expected to be drilled.
The initial exploration is looking for mineral deposits to justify a commercial mining operation on the land. If this were to happen the company estimate up to 400 to 500 jobs would be made for 30 to 40 years. The company have confirmed their plans on their website saying:
"North Pennines, England - Minco has commenced a new exploration initiative in the North Pennine Orefield located in the northern English counties of Cumbria, Northumberland and Durham. Minco plans an initial US$1 million exploration programme, including 4,000 metres of diamond drilling.
"Exploration is focussed on the search for stratiform, replacement-style zinc and lead deposits in the unexplored, more massive limestone formations of the basal Carboniferous stratigraphy. There is significant untested potential for such mineralisation approximately 300-400m below previous, adit-accessed workings, and such deposits could be significantly larger than any previously discovered.
"Specific exploration targets have already been identified by Minco and initial exploration drilling will be focussed at three principal sites. Minco will complete approximately 4,000 metres of core drilling. The average depth of each hole will be approximately 500m."